Painting | A home address sign for the porch

two-sided chalk-painted sign

I made a new sign for my back porch. If you think it looks familiar …

chalk-painted sign
… it’s because this is what’s on the other side of it. I made the “noel” side of the sign back before Christmas (and blogged about it here.) After I put my holiday decorations away, my porch looked a little bare, which is why I decided I’d paint the flip side of the sign and put it back up.

chalk-painted sign

To create my “new” sign, I started by basecoating the back of the old sign with some Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint (rich black) that I had on hand.

chalk-painted sign

Then I typed up my street address and printed it out. The font I used was Didot. The numbers were huge (1100 points), so I had to tile the pages and scotch tape them together.

chalk-painted sign

To transfer the design onto the board, I rubbed chalk all over the back of the paper …

two-sided chalk-painted sign

… and traced around the letters and numbers with a sharp pencil, which transferred the chalk onto the sign board. (This is always my favorite part of the process. I love to lift up the paper and see the outlines magically appear.)

chalk-painted sign

 

After that, I just had to fill in the outlines with white paint.

two-sided chalk-painted sign

I used Rustoleum Chalked (linen white) paint; it took three coats to cover the black base coat.

chalk-painted sign

 

Later I brushed on a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Protective Topcoat (matte clear). (Word to the wise: If you’re working with Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint, make sure the paint has dried and cured sufficiently before attempting to put the topcoat on. In my haste to get this project done, I started applying the topcoat almost immediately after I was done painting. The sign was dry to the touch, so I thought it would be OK, but the white paint smeared something awful. I touched up the paint at that point and left the sign be. When I went back to it a couple days later, I didn’t have any issues with smearing.)

double-sided chalk-painted sign
I propped the sign up by my back door in the same spot I had it when the noel side was facing out. It fills in the empty spot on my porch, and it makes me smile every time I walk past it.

Crafting | Painting a Christmas sign

To celebrate the holidays — and the end of my first semester in my second go-round with college — I made myself a little Christmas present.

making a wooden Christmas sign
Isn’t it purdy? I’ve been crushing on the Pottery Barn JOY sign the whole Christmas season, but as a poor college student, I didn’t have 59 discretionary dollars to spend on a holiday decoration and I had consigned myself to the fact that I would have to go without it.

Noel sign
Then one day last week I noticed a crusty piece of plywood — full of paint smears and stains and holes that had been drilled around the edges — leaning up against the side of our garage. I assume my husband must have put it there, but I decided it was a sign. Or at least it could be. A rustic, reclaimed, one-of-a-kind Pottery-Barn-inspired Christmas sign, that is.

Noel sign
With the plywood in hand, I searched my paint stash for a beautiful Christmas red. All I could find was 1 ounce (half a bottle) of tomatoey red acrylic craft paint. Not exactly what I was looking for, but I made it work by adding a couple of dribbles of black to darken it up and then mixing it with a bit of water and plaster of paris to stretch the paint and make sure it had a nice, flat, chalky finish.

stenciling a sign
Once I had the paint conundrum solved and the board bedecked in red, I sat down at my computer and played around with a few different words and fonts. Eventually, I settled on my sign saying “noel” in Rockingham medium, and I printed out the letters.

Noel sign

Then I cut away the black ink to create stencils.

Noel sign

I scooched the letters around on the board until I had them where I wanted them and stuck them down with masking tape.

Noel Christmas sign

I filled in the stencils with some leftover white chalk paint.

Noel sign

When I had the stencils all filled in …

Noel sign

… I peeled away the paper to reveal the white letters.

building a frame
Then I rounded up a few pieces of grungy lath. The lath pieces are not even a year old, but my husband had used them to stake out a path he built in our backyard last summer, and they turned that lovely weathered gray color pretty quickly after they were exposed to the elements.

Making a Noel sign

I trimmed two long pieces of the lath to fit horizontally along the top and bottom of the sign first, then drilled pilot holes and nailed the pieces into the plywood.

DIY Christmas sign

For the shorter ends of the sign, I butted the lath pieces up along the sides, marked their length with a pencil and trimmed them to fit, then drilled pilot holes and nailed them into place just like I did with the longer pieces.

Noel sign

Here’s a closeup of one of the butted corners.

wooden noel sign

After I had the frame built, I gave the sign a second coat of paint and then brushed on a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Chalked protective topcoat.

Noel sign
I have the sign standing sideways on my back porch for now, but I can always hang it horizontally, if the mood strikes.

red Noel sign